Jnetics on Campus

Jnetics on Campus – University Screening Week takes place every November and provides testing for UK-based students with at least ONE Jewish grandparent.

This year, Jnetics on Campus University Screening Week is taking place between 20-26th November 2023.

University Screening Week (USW) is a virtual programme. Students register online and pre-book a screening appointment. A screening pack is sent in the post containing everything needed to complete the test during the appointment.
During USW, students attend their screening appointment via Zoom with a trained Screening Advisor. The Screening Advisor will guide the student through completing the form and how to collect the sample.
Following the appointment, students post their sample to Jnetics, which will then be sent on to the lab. Students should expect to receive their results within 20 weeks.

These are genetic disorders which are more common in people who have Jewish ancestry than those in the general population.

This does not mean that only Jewish people are affected, but it does mean that Jewish people, or those of Jewish descent, have an increased risk of having one of these conditions.

Tay-Sachs disease is the best-known example of a JGD, but research has identified a number of other serious disorders that can potentially be prevented through carrier screening.

Carrier screening gives people the opportunity to find out if they are a ‘carrier’ of a genetic condition. Carriers of recessive disorders are typically not affected themselves but are at increased risk of passing on a genetic condition if their partner is also a carrier of the same disorder. Screening involves taking a cheek swab and testing it to see if there is a ‘mutation’ (a genetic fault or alteration) for a particular genetic disorder.

The Jnetics screening covers 47 of the most severe recessive genetic disorders that are relatively more common in either Ashkenazi or Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews.

A full list of the disorders covered by Jnetics screening can be found here.

While Jewish genetic disorders vary in severity, those covered by Jnetics can all be severely debilitating and most cause shortened lifespan. At this time most lack any effective treatment but can be prevented through effective carrier screening. Though rare, these conditions are devastating and can typically occur even when there is no known family history.

Anybody of Jewish ancestry has a 1 in 3 chance of carrying one or more of the severe recessive Jewish genetic disorders that we test for.

Unless screened, carriers often go undetected until it is too late. The best time to screen for these conditions is before starting (or growing) a family as it gives people the greatest number of reproductive options available should they be at risk of having an affected child.

The disorders covered in this screening programme follow an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern, shown in the diagram. This means that two copies of an altered gene must be present for the disorder to develop.

The diagram demonstrates that if both parents are carriers of the same disorder (they each carry a single altered gene), then each child will have a 25% chance of inheriting two copies of the altered gene and being affected by the disorder. For every pregnancy, there is also a 50% chance that the child will be a carrier but not develop the genetic condition themselves.

Testing is available for anyone aged 16 or over, at university, who has at least one blood Jewish grandparent.

Further FAQs
Jnetics on Campus Screening Process

More information can be found on other pages of our website, alternatively please contact us at students@jnetics.org or call 020 8158 5123.